WAR GAMING AGINCOURT. In an article in the TLS (September 25) about the Battle of Agincourt, Adam Thorpe says: “Whoever moves first, according to medieval military pundits, is certain to lose.”

Thorpe talks to Ben, a war-gamer, who has replayed the battle many times with, says Thorpe, “proper war game rules (intricate and mathematical)”. Ben says: “If the odds turn against you and you don’t eliminate the French knights fast enough before they hit, then they just roll over you. The result was never a foregone conclusion.”

Thorpe marks the turning point as the time when the British archers were hammering in the sharpened six foot stakes which were to form a defensive wall: “If the French had been ready then,…they would have won.”

In other words, if the French had moved first, they would have won.

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